When I was younger, I used to always think armchair travelling was limited to only reading travel memoirs or nonfiction about international cities and exotic locales. Luckily I figured out that a vast array of fiction can be your ticket to adventure beyond your walls. Historical fiction: journey to the past! Family drama: live in a different home! Romance: experience the pull on your heartstrings without ever stepping outside! Adventure: chart a course into unknown territories, no passport needed!
Recently armchair traveling has been the only kind of excursion available, and I turned to a favorite thriller for some excitement-filled pages in order to venture deep into one of the world’s most dangerous cities and trek across the jungles of South America.
In The Deserter, written by master suspense writer Nelson DeMille (author of more than twenty five novels alone) and co-authored with his Nelson’s screen-writer son Alex DeMille, introduces readers to Army investigator Scott Brodie. Brodie has roguish qualities, and a knack for getting the job done by any means necessary–usually not by the book. His superiors despair, but Brodie’s brilliant (if unorthodox) work is unparalleled in the Criminal Investigation Division. Add into the mix Brodie’s young new partner, the beautiful and talented Maggie Taylor, who military brass hope will inspire Brodie to follow the rules.
Their assignment is secret, but their target is renowned around the world. Captain Kyle Mercer of the Army’s elite Delta Force was presumed kidnapped after disappearing from his post in Afghanistan, especially once the Taliban makes headlines by releasing a video of the Captain. But the Army questions everything; was Mercer captured or–as they believe after gaining more knowledge of the situation–was the public display a ruse for his desertion? His motives remain unknown, and only one thing was certain–a highly trained US operative and killer was now at large, and the Army had no idea where to find him.
Until a year later, when Mercer resurfaces in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Army charges Brodie and Taylor with finding and returning him to the United States–preferably alive. Their mission is risky and they’re forced to rely on obscure intel in an unfriendly city, a situation made worse by the two’s obvious chemistry. Brodie has another reason to take caution; as he and Maggie become closer he’s increasingly suspicious she’s reporting to the CIA, leaving him to wonder who he can trust at all.
As the two circle in on Mercer’s location, they also investigate his purpose. Why would a soldier trained and sworn to protect suddenly abandon his country? Is Mercer working for someone powerful, or is there a larger ideology at play that caused him to desert his duties? What could he know from his time in Afghanistan that makes the military so desperate to find him?
With plenty of action–from shoot-outs with Venezuelan gangsters to daring flights in a jungle plane–this high-octane thriller will keep you breathless and possibly, a little relieved to be journeying through its pages and not on this hazardous search for the truth yourself. After all, it’s more comfortable to escape into the world of international intrigue and jeopardy, than need to escape from it!